(Please join me in this blogging challenge from my friend Stephanie Howell! )
I love the baby stage. And the toddler stage. (I pretty much love every stage of childhood we've encountered thus far, except the potty-training stage, and thanks to hindsight, that is a short-lived season.)
I have loved these little years. I miss having a baby in our home...in our family. So it's no surprise that with each passing year, I get a little misty-eyed thinking of how my babies are growing up. I have a tendency to say "They're not little anymore."
Not too long ago, I remember taking this picture.
Autumn 2009. Ages 2, 4, and 6. We are at a local corn maze.
This was the time we'd grown accustomed to having a new baby enter our lives. Odd year, October, that was our normal. Three c-sections later, there would be no new babies. And my heart hurt. My babies were SO big. Not babies anymore.
My Mom reminded me once (and continues to remind me) during such conversations and reflections that they are still little. She has much perspective and wisdom to share.
Today, when I look at that picture above, I see how little they were then. Though to me they seemed big, they were, indeed, still little. I didn't see it then. It took some distance and perspective.
I am thankful for that perspective...and hope I hold onto it.
So take this sweet picture:
Autumn 2011. Ages 4, 6, 8. Hugging each other as Nathanael opens birthday gifts.
Of course, I still say it. They're growing up. It's true. Faster than I'd like the time to go. Not as little as they once were.
But still little.
I know that in two more years, there will be another picture. (Yikes, we'll hit double digits then.) And I'll see how much they've grown and learned, and this picture above will show how little they were right now.
(And don't get me wrong, I love these ages too...the details of their personalities, finding their sense of humor, their likes and dislikes, watching them soak up knowledge, seeing the people that they are in the process of becoming. It's wonderful and amazing, and I feel privileged and blessed to live these precious years with them.)
So I've learned to take this moment right now~today~ and treasure it. Not wish the time away or wish for the past.
So today, I've read "just one more chapter" three times. Let playtime go a little longer before starting school. Taken twice as long to make homemade applesauce so that six little hands could help. Stopped working on the computer to just snuggle my littlest, freshly sleepy from an afternoon nap. They won't always be this little, so today, I'm holding these little years, these little ones close.
Savor and relish this moment...for how grown up and how little they are at the same time.